24th Edition Of The MSME Clinics In Kebbi State
REMARKS HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE 24TH EDITION OF THE MSME CLINICS IN KEBBI STATE ON THURSDAY, 12TH SEPTEMBER 2019.
I’m delighted to be here in Kebbi, the undisputed home of the resurgence of agriculture in Nigeria, to flag-off the 24th edition of the National MSME Clinics.
I bring you warm greetings from President Muhammadu Buhari, and his hearty congratulations for the giant strides this great State has made in the past 4 years. Kebbi State has the most success stories in our Anchor Borrowers programme, and has proved by practical results that Nigeria can be self-sufficient not just in rice production, but in practically everything that we eat.
Let me also take this opportunity to extend my sincere congratulations to His Excellency, Governor Atiku Bagudu and his team for the excellent work they have done within the MSME space thus far. I must also commend Her Excellency, Wife of the Governor, for the excellent work she has done with several groups here.
I was briefed by my team on your unique style of organizing the Clinics. I am aware that the State organized a week-long series of MSME sensitization events to announce the MSME Clinic in Kebbi. This is very commendable indeed and we will recommend to other States so that participation can be greatly enhanced.
In addition, the governor has actively promoted MSME clusters. I recently saw the impressive work he is doing with beekeepers, I am told that there are several trade groups that are actively supported by the State Government. There is already a lot of international attention being paid to Kebbi State’s honey products. That is the way it should be.
I have come across several creative and talented entrepreneurs and MSME promoters. I have come across Engineer Danwarai, who has been fabricating tractors and other farm equipment. I saw for myself the tractors that this young man has fabricated and they clearly show great talent. This is something that we actively support and it shows that we can make our own tractors and farming equipment and we can do anything we are importing already. I was also pleased to meet Yusuf Sulaiman, a JSS3 student who makes excellent comic books. I have taken one of his comic books with me and he intends to publish his comic books as times goes on.
There is so much talent and one of the things that emerge from just going around, seeing what has been done here in Kebbi State, is that there is so much creativity, talent and enterprise. People are prepared to work hard, young and old. People are making their contributions to the economy, that’s what makes a country truly economically great. It is the individual work and efforts of small businesses and entrepreneurs that makes any country in the world what it is. I commend all the entrepreneurs in Kebbi State; both men and women have been doing incredible work.
In the past few years, we have seen over 400,000 MSME participants across the country. We have been in 23 States including the FCT, thus far and I have personally attended 21of those Clinics myself.
States that have hosted the Clinics since inception include: Bauchi, Plateau, Kwara, Sokoto, Cross-River, Ebonyi, Ogun, Ondo, Edo, & the FCT. Others are Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Oyo, Ekiti, Abia, Enugu, Anambra Osun, Katsina, Lagos, Kogi and Akwa Ibom States.
In each of the States, we take with us, the regulatory authorities such as NAFDAC, BOI, because we want these regulators to see for themselves, what these MSMEs are doing. All the efforts being put into their businesses and how these regulators can support the businesses.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye was with me this morning when many people complained about the cost of registering one product was too expensive. But I must point out that it used to be N50,000 per product but NAFDAC reduced it to N25,000. But that N25,000 is still too high, that is the feedback that I have gotten today from talking to so many people.
Our own business as regulators and the government is to make it easier for people to do their business. If it is too expensive to register the product then we are not encouraging the people to register their businesses. So, we are going to see to it that we give this service/registration the kind of price that these businesses can afford and it doesn’t discourage small businesses. We are going to work on this faithfully, so that every small business is encouraged to register with NAFDAC, SON, including company registration.
We have also reduced the cost of registering companies by half, and we have tried to ensure that as many people register their businesses/companies as possible.
We have also launched (7) one-stop-shops in the FCT, Osun, Cross-River, Kwara, Abia, Plateau and Bauchi States; assembling relevant agencies together in one place so as to enable MSMEs access their services on an on-going basis with relative ease. We have NAFDAC, SON, CAC, all under one roof. It is difficult for people to travel from one State of Nigeria all the way to Abuja or Lagos just to do their regulatory compliance. So, we want to move regulatory compliance to all States so that each State or zone is able to register its own small-scale industries with relative ease.
About 300,000 new business names have been registered by the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) at a reduced 50%
price of N5000, down from the normal N10,000.
MSME CLINIC/BOI FUND – To ease access to business funds with acceptable structure, this is available for all MSMEs who are able to meet conditions not as stringent as the ones by the commercial banks and other financial institutions. So, the whole idea is to provide funding for businesses at an accessible rate. I must tell you quite frankly, that is not enough yet, we don’t have enough resources yet to give every MSME that comes forward, but we want to be able to do more and increase the number. That is why the President approved MarketMoni. This is money from between N50,000 – N350,000, given to small businesses, also TraderMoni meant for petty traders in the sum of N10,000. This is all in the President’s plan to ensure that anyone doing work, no matter how small your business is, Government will assist you. When N10,000 is paid back for TraderMoni, you get N15,000 all the way up to N100,000.
This is even as the Government is working on a long-term solution to resolve the bottle-necks MSMEs face daily in trying to access business funds.
Next Level Projects:
SHARED FACILITIES FOR MSMEs: We plan 37 Clusters across the nation, this will provide MSMEs opportunities to walk into fully equipped cluster-specific facilities to use such facilities for end-to-end production of their products. For example, a Shea Butter cluster is meant for people who use shea butter for their products; we will give them a facility where they can process and package their products. Government will provide the packaging equipment to make it easier for them. A small producer will not be able to buy the equipment for all the things that they need to do. But when we find a cluster of producers, we provide one facility for all the things that they need so they share the facility, that is what we mean by Shared Facilities. We have 3 and intend to do 37.
Federal Government has identified minimum of one cluster per State and in Kebbi State, the commercial fishing cluster will be commissioned next year at Birnin Kebbi for over 9000 MSMEs to access daily.
Let me also use this opportunity to recognize one of the 2018 winners, the CEO of Yelwa Shea butter global enterprises, who is from Yelwa Yawuri local Govt area in Kebbi and who participated in the Sokoto State edition of the MSME Clinic in March of 2017. He is in our midst today.
In 2018, he won the award for beauty, wellness and cosmetic during our 1st edition of the National MSME Awards In 2018.
Finally, let me urge all the Federal & State regulatory agencies, such as NAFDAC, SON, CAC to see themselves mainly as facilitators of our MSMEs. We are to make business easier, we are facilitators, not obstacles, we are not just revenue-generating agencies.
The best way to facilitate revenue in a country is by providing people with the opportunities to work and do business. The more people who do business, the better for everybody. People who do business pay their taxes as well. That is the way we want to grow our country and our economy.
I commend all the work being done already by all the regulatory authorities, they are all determined to change and work hard.
Finally, let me commend the hardworking Governor Atiku Bagudu and everyone that has made these Clinics in Kebbi a very successful one. I thank you very much for making the time to come here today. God bless you.
Thank you all.